By Paula Farmer
Ecclesiastes 3 The Living Bible translation
1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven (…) What does one really get from hard work? 10 I have thought about this in connection with all the various kinds of work God has given to mankind. 11 Everything is appropriate in its own time. But though God has planted eternity in the hearts of men, even so, many cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. 12 So I conclude that, first, there is nothing better for a man than to be happy and to enjoy himself as long as he can; 13 and second, that he should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of his labors, for these are gifts from God.
Glide Memorial Church Change Series
GLIDE is change, both literally and figuratively. Change is constant as much as it is inevitable, and we’ve been on this roller coaster for quite some time. We shake things up in order to sustain our communities. We create impactful change that sends ripples out into the world in hopes of making things better for humanity. Though it may not seem so, the cycles have once again shifted, yet we find ourselves still cast into the midst of an ongoing pandemic which has cornered us into an existence of fear, anxiety, isolation, hybridization, and separation. We also find ourselves overcome with sorrow in the wake of loss: loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, and some of us even have experienced the loss of our homes. With all of this change, some would say that we are also suffering from a loss of our identities. Through it all, we’ve continued on with our mission to fight for social justice and to stand in the margins with our neighbors. If we are being honest, it is exhausting.
The Autumnal Equinox is celebrated and observed by many different cultures and religions throughout the world. The equinox, latin for equal, is one of two times of year where light and dark are balanced on the Earth. This equinox, we find ourselves at a reckoning. This is a time to rebalance, renew and reconnect to ourselves on a spiritual level and reconnect with our community as we take stock of what is most important to us and set about tending to the garden which is the self. And as the days get shorter, the foliage begins to change, and temperatures cool down, we are reminded that the Autumnal Equinox represents the harvest time of year. It is the time of year where we slow down to activate our new cycle of dormancy leading to growth and renewal. As we allow ourselves these gifts, we are also allowing space for a greater vision to emerge for you to see, as our lives go through cycles of growth, harvest, death, and rebirth just as we see in nature. Night and day are again of equal length and in perfect equilibrium — dark and light, masculine and feminine, inner and outer, in balance. But we are again on the cusp of transition and from now the year now begins to wane and from this moment darkness begins to defeat the light. It is the equilibrium of day and night and this represents the light and darkness in our lives. The long summer nights have passed and we are now in a season of transition. Each season represents a stage of life within ourselves and the spiritual meaning of Autumn is a time to reset and honor yourself and all that you have done these past few months.
I encourage you to take some time this upcoming season to acknowledge your life cycle and spiritual path. In doing so, you are honoring, not only your own growth and light within, but the ancient wisdom that has served our health and wellness for thousands of years. Glide Memorial Church has many ways for you to participate and connect, in Congregational Life groups and through Sunday Celebration. We hope you will join us on a journey to recover in community.
We look forward to entering this moment of so much transition and harvest with you, dear community.